Is profanity and crude public discourse the new normal?

Much has been said in the past week about Councilmember Ian Perrotta’s recent censure by his fellow councilmembers.
This is the second time that Perrotta has been called out for his behavior.
We wrote about this in last week’s issue, so we won’t belabor the point.
But there is a repeating pattern that we find concerning: First, he admits to acting inappropriately; then, he immediately pivots, and paints himself as the victim of a political smear campaign, finding fault in others – including this newspaper.
We’ll let the public weigh in on this one, but Perrotta has displayed outbursts during council meetings that makes one think there is an anger issue.
We will leave it at that.
Perhaps what we found more disturbing with regard to the current censure issue, is that his berating of a city employee, which he admits to, contained coarse curse words.
His defenders have excused this outburst as basically nothing to see here.
They say, the use of foul language is now accepted as normal discourse.
Sadly, they may be right.
But does that make it acceptable for an elected official to mouth off to city hall employees?
Elected officials are held to a higher standard of conduct. Perrotta is also an officer of the court, being a newly-minted attorney. Those twin positions carry added responsibilities.
Unfortunately, in the age of social media, we have seen public discourse grow more and more crude.
Is every other word now going to be an “F bomb”?
One commentator at a recent city council meeting wisely suggested that, when our elected officials get into heated discussions, they should take a step back and take a breather before continuing on.
Unfortunately, that suggestion was met with this comment: “F*** you, dude.”
Such is the state of affairs.
Sept. 4, 2020

3 Responses to Is profanity and crude public discourse the new normal?

  1. Dennis Nowak

    September 6, 2020 at 4:42 pm

    Ian Perrotta was properly censured for his outrageous verbal abuse directed at a city employee trying to process a building permit.

    Working at City Hall is difficult enough with all the problems the city faces without having to endure an unwarranted confrontation from an elected official.

    Councilman Perrotta should remember he is an elected representative of the City of Hamtramck and his conduct reflects back on the city itself

    Next time please thank a worker at City Hall who assists you with an issue – let them know their efforts are appreciated.

  2. Felicia Davey

    September 8, 2020 at 3:45 pm

    Crude and rude is never a good idea, in my opinion.
    Especially not during a City Council meeting.

    Moving on to the subject of Slavery in Hamtramck/Detroit. A public comment was made ar a recent meeting that Col. Hamtramck was such an individual.

    We know that was part of our country’s history,
    I needed to refresh my memory and Googled “In 1796 and thereafter, Col. Jean Francois Hamtramck Slaveholder in Detroit/Hamtramck, and discovered a trove of information on the subject.

    The upshot, in my opinion, is to learn the facts,
    ponder them, and work together to improve living conditions for everyone. I do not believe taking down statues or changing names is the way to go. Let’s not forget our history. We can do better.
    Self -education is a never ending process. Let’s grow in wisdom together.

  3. Anonymous

    September 9, 2020 at 3:32 pm

    I know Ian Perotta as a good person, with his heart on the side of the disenfranchised. That said, he has a hot temper at times, which it would behoove him to consider remedy for. It does little good to advocate for the little guy on the one hand, and then bully a young City Hall underling who was probably just following protocol on the other. If one gets stonewalled at that level, one should then take it up through the chain of command until one gets to the top, if need be, and save the vitriol for that individual, if they are unreasonably unyielding.
    A career in law will prove very short with savvy old judges who won’t put up with repeated courtroom outbursts. Even Geoffrey Fieger has probably learned that by now. Consider the wisdom of the “speak softly” approach — but maybe leave the big stick at home?

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